Random writings inspired by “642 Things To Write About” part 4


Wow it’s been 20 days since I last wrote a post inspired by this awesome book. Tonight I’m doing it because I just recently got back from my friend Crystal’s house and it I was being truthful, a wee bit drunk. Had 4 drinks, 2 rye & coke and 2 sparkling wine & orange juice, both drinks were really good and all 4 went down smoothly. What I’m trying to say is in an effort NOT to break the record I have going and to ensure a post is written every day wanted something that might be a tad easier to write about.

For today’s entry I started at the back of the book and flipped through a few pages to find something that would be interesting and not require too much brain power. Here goes…..

The page is sectioned off in to 4 boxes with an expectation to write about each topic in each box.

First Box: Who wrote the book of Love? Why, and what’s in it?

This question is very appropriate considering what day it is tomorrow! I believe the book of love was written by a woman, it would have been written in a time when woman were not allowed to hold down gainful employment (such as a writer) and if a magazine was to publish their works their were expected to change their name to sound more masculine. I picture her as a very strong, independent woman who likes to travel, I imagine she keeps a diary while out to jot down any thing she sees that could be later turned in to a book. Well that’s what I would do anyways. Inside the book of love are blank pages…she expects people to fill in their own story, to share the story that they have worked all their lives to create.

Second Box: Write ten sayings for fortune cookies.

1) Your bath has not yet started, remember it may not be clearly marked.

2) Give your attitude an adjustments, because life is too short.

3) One foot in front of the other is sometimes all you are able to accomplish.

4) The message written here should not be read aloud.

5) Opportunities do  come by everyday so always be on the look out.

6) Your future self sent this message….

7) Enjoy the small silences and worry about the big ones.

8) If you are not who you thought you would be, that is ok!

9) Get a pet, or get another one. All animals deserve our love

10) Sometimes its ok to give up.

Third box: Your day, hour by hour

Here would my day yesterday

12am-1am: sleeping

1am-2am: sleeping

2am-3am: sleeping

3am-4am: sleeping

4am-5am: sleeping

5am-6am: Got up and dressed. Brushed hair, brushed teeth. Let dogs out. Got mom up to the bathroom and settled on the couch. Played Criminal case on my iPad.

6am-7am: Left for work taking public transit, transferred to another bus with a small layover.

7am-8am: Got off final bus and walked to Tim Horton’s grabbed a coffee, bagel, and cherry cheese danish. Walked a short distance to the office. Got computer on, checked emails, checked work assignments, checked how much pending work I had.

8am-9am: Logged in to virtual phone system, started with pending work, helped co-worker on same project with some questions she had.

9am-10am: Worked new cases at work, continued to answer questions for co-worker, had first break a total of 15 minutes, played on iPad and phone during break.

10am-11am: made a few morning callbacks to customers, didn’t reach anyone, continued to work on new. Covered co-worker on same project so she could go on break.

11am-12am: continued to make outbound calls at customer requests, continued on working through new cases.

12am-1pm: Went on lunch which had me grabbing a few different things for a few different people but still made it back to work in the 30 minutes provided, continued to work on cases.

1pm-2pm: Had a team meeting (or huddle as we call them) with some of my team, continued my work on cases.

2pm-3pm: went on last 15 minute break and continued to work on new cases.

3pm-4pm: worked through last few cases and wound down for the day, made sure any work needed done is signed to co-workers.

4pm-5pm: signed out of virtual phone, got my jacket on and personal things gathered up. Waled to bus stop about 2 blocks away, got bus heading to Conestoga mall.

5pm-6pm: look for new case for phone at mall, go to grocery store to grab a few items to make dinner.

6pm-7pm: help prepare dinner, try to call Mobility Plus to schedule a ride to and from her day program next Wednesday but after holding for over 20 minutes I had to go. Let dogs out.

7pm-8pm: talk with entrepreneur Carolyn about getting started as public speaker.

8pm-9pm: have dinner and clean up.

9pm-10pm: start writing blog only to be detracted by what every my sister and brother-in-law are watching on TV, play with dogs.

10pm-11pm finish and post blog entry, play with iPad, get PJs on, brush teeth, give mom evening pills. Head to bed.

11pm-12am: sleeping

Fourth box: A famous, unsolved crime


When a show aired a few years ago called “The Black Donnelly’s” I was intrigued. I had known that the show was based on a Canadian “crime” family who came to southern Ontario from Ireland back in the late 1800’s but I hadn’t really known much more. I found it interesting to learn about the shear number of death’s this family endured. It seemed that the city they decided to settle in were none to happy with the way they lived their lives and didn’t make an effort to hide it.

The mystery comes from who burned their homestead down and pretty much wiping this family out.



Sadly the show didn’t last and was cancelled I think before the first season even finished airing which is a shame because all of the actors involved are really amazing and most have gone on to do other great work.

New Path….maybe….


I have had an interest to get out and do more public speaking, today I took one step closer to reaching that goal.  Tonight I had a lovely conversation with an amazing lovely lady named Carolyn Parks. I was connected with her through a mutual acquaintance, Juanita who woks with The Waterloo Region crime Prevention. Juanita had touched base with me earlier this year asking how I was doing on that goal. I had to tell the truth and say that it was going no where.

Before my call with Carolyn tonight I had no clue where to start, what to do… I had thought about printing business cards even designed a few options but never went through with the order. I tried reaching out to the Waterloo County Board of Education through their Facebook site but I’m not sure how often that’s reviewed or if they take those types of posts seriously. I have not actively pursued anything, the few gigs I have done have been because of my existing connections. They were really great experiences and have me knowing that doing more public speaking is something that I want to do and that I think I’m pretty good at.

Carolyn has helped me understand what things I should complete as part of a framework and after speaking with her I’m excited to get started. I plan on writing down some ideas about which topics I could explore as potential speaking topics, by narrowing this down it can give me a better sense of who to market myself to. I think that I can speak to a wide range of audiences; from school aged children, high school kids, and corporations.

Also over the next little while I will be setting up another website that is a bit more polished, that will be more professional looking and have videos of the various interviews I have done. None of the public speaking engagements I have done were recorded so I won’t be able to put those up but I think that if I can present myself and make it clear that I do bring a unique perspective that should go along way towards getting my foot in the door.

If I could speak at a TED talk or WeDay conference that would be so awesome, I think both organizations have such a wide range of speakers and a wide range of topics that I feel I would fit right in with.

I would welcome your input, if you know of any company or school that is looking for someone to provide a voice about bullying, about diversity, or if you feel my story would be a great fit for an upcoming event just shoot me an email: loker.penny@gmail.com, I will of course keep everyone up to date on the progress and look forward to being able to continue to share this journey with you.

Top 10 TV shows (On air)

Top 10

Today’s entry is all about my TOP 10 FAVOURITE TV SHOWS that are still on-air! These are in no particular order, it’a all about fun tonight!

Top 10 TV shows13


CASTLE 2009-present

I will start with Castle and say this once (less you all get bored) I LOVE THIS SHOW Nathan Fillion is an amazing actor and takes the words he provided and just runs with it! Really everyone that works on this show is awesome, there has not yet been on episode where I thought “meh, could have done without this”. Great story arcs, great follow through, amazing writing, great lighting, I could go on..you get the idea.

Top 10 TV shows7


ELEMENTARY 2012-present

We are about mid way through the third season and this show just keeps getting better. I know a few people who are comparing this show to one called Shrelock and saying that this is a knock off but since I haven’t seen the other show…I can’t say. what I can say is that I am very much enjoying the twist of a female lead as Watson, and a not so different take on Sherlock, he is a dick! I love the introduction of a new character this season named Kitty who was a victim of a horrific attack. Really great writing, acting, just all around well done, must watch show.

Top 10 TV shows10



Most people who know me know I’m not much in to reality TV however this show is THE best reality TV on air right now. I’ve watched both the Canadian one and the Australian one and have to say both are extremely entertaining. If you want to check it out and live in Canada just visit Global TV’s website or on their mobile App to watch an episode. The things people try to get away with, or the stories they make up are just awesome. Anyone who works or has worked in Customer service will see some parallels with your job. It’s not scripted and you really never know what’s coming, after seeing a few episodes it is fun to guess.

Top 10 TV shows5


SCORPION 2014-present

This show is in it’s first season and is said to be based on an actual person named Walter O’Brien, I guess that’s true but really doesn’t persuade me to watch it. I love the characters, the action is damn good and I haven’t seen these actors much so it was nice to watch a show where I didn’t see the actors as previous characters in my head. Sometimes the stories are a bit disjointed but overall the level of acting more than makes up for it and I do hope this show goes on for many more seasons.

Top 10 TV shows6


BONES 2005-present

Going into it’s 10th season and still going strong. With some shows after it’s been on as long as this one has it can start to get a bit stale but Bones has not had one drawn out episode, I enjoy the stories that this show continues to tell. There have been a number of times where I have had to pick my jaw up off the floor after some crazy stuff has happened. I was sad about the loss of a key character at the start of this season but I do understand the need to have characters in peril, keeps everything fresh and exciting. Although I feel some of the characters can be over the top sometimes, that is a small (very tiny) complaint I have. I really want this show to just keep on going!

Top 10 TV shows9



Set in the 1890’s William Murdoch sets about to solve crimes in the city of Toronto, the character uses some really inventive ways to find evidence which points to technology and practices we use today. One of the great themes during the 8 season it has been airing is that of woman’s rights. This was a time before women had the right to vote, before we could feel free enough to wear what we wanted. It’s great to see what it may have been like back in the day, the writers and prop masters do try to keep things as historic as possible. You never who is going to step out of the past and make an appearance.

Top 10 TV shows


THE BLACKLIST 2013-present

One of my favourite shows currently on, I always make sure to catch all episodes. It stars James Spader who plays one of the most Wanted men in the world by the FBI, he turns himself in in order to gain access to someone he knew when she was a kid. As the show progresses he helps the FBI catch some of the worst criminals out there some of whom the FBI didn’t even know exist. I can’t say enough good things about this show, not one bad episode or one miss by the actors, writers, and everyone involved. We are about halfway through season 2 so you can catch up and watch the rest of the season with me!

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SCHITTS CREEK 2015-present

This show has just started and it’s already on my list for one very good reason….it’s so funny. A great Canadian TV show wit so much talent and potential to have a very long run. Easy to catch up on if you have access to CBC’s website. It’s about this very well off family who end up losing almost everything they have due to a bad financial adviser who takes them for all they have. They are forced to move to this town that was purchased as a joke. Watching such seasoned actors letting lose and playing such crazy characters is refreshing…also it’s fun saying Scitts Creek!

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In the US there is The Colbert Report as well as The Daily Show with John Stewart, in Canada we have Rick Mercer Report. One of my favourite parts of Rick’s show is the segments where he goes out and tries really crazy things all over Canada. One year he came to here for the KW Oktoberfest, just recently I saw that he went to Variety Village and he hung out with some cool kids and tried his hand at wheelchair basketball. One of my favourites is when him and Jann Arden get together and go out on “dates”. If you have never seen any segments, look him up on YouTube and come back and let me know what you think!

Top 10 TV shows8


THE BIG BANG THEORY 2007-present

PENNY?, PENNY?, PENNY?…wow how many times have I heard this since this show aired…..well yesterday was the most recent. This show is so good for so many reasons, watching them all evolve as characters and their relationships with each other is fun. Seeing all the guest stars from Bill Nye to Stan Lee make appearances has kept the show fresh. It hasn’t gotten old yet and I doubt for me it ever will.

Top 10 TV shows2 Top 10 TV shows3

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Top 10 TV shows4


NCIS 2003-present

NCIS: LOS ANGELES 2009-present

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS 2014-present

I lumped all these in to one, because they are all NCIS shows, I don’t have a favourite, each spin-off of the original is so awesome. Again great characters, great writing amazing stories and arcs that they can play off of. They all follow the same premise but are all very different and I’m hooked with all of  them.

Purchasing a home.


My mom was a single parent and we always rented either an apartment and later on a townhouse. I enjoyed renting, I never saw the pros that everyone kept talking about with owning my own home. Sure sometimes the places were small but there was always enough room it never felt crowded to me. As I got older I looked forward to moving out and renting my own place, I had all these ideas on how I would decorate. People talked about how owning your own home was an investment, this was (and guess still is) an abstract concept to me. As with many things in life nothing is ever easy nor does it go the way you plan.

I never knew that growing up my mom would hold on so tight it was hard to think about going. I never knew how much I would enjoy and love living with my mom and sister even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye.

My sister moved out a few times during her relationship with her husband, so it was just mom and I and we got a long pretty good but the dynamics of our relationship changed and I became more responsible for household expenses and mom continued to take care of the rent. When my sister moved back and stayed she brought her husband with her and the dynamics changed again and I realized I liked living with more people. We did outgrow our town house and we made the decision to start house hunting.

I love where we currently live the house is great, it really came in handy to have a bungalow because of mom’s stroke. I don’t see myself moving anytime soon and today’s entry is about purchasing the first home.

When I got pre-approved it was a bit of a shock, I had never really worked at having great credit, I never figured about buying a house and knew I’d never have to buy a car but when the lovely man at the bank said you are good to go I was pleasantly surprised. With the hours I was working at the time I couldn’t look at houses with my sister and her husband, from what I hear a lot of them were total nightmares. I didn’t want to go house poor and didn’t want to get a house at the top end of what I was approved for. After looking at lots, and lots, and lots of houses we found one we liked. The kitchen was amazing, it had a nice dining room, good size living room, and a great finished basement with an extra kitchen. It needed some work but nothing that we couldn’t handle, plus the backyard backed on to an awesome green space where we wouldn’t have to worry about who was behind us. After putting in an offer and negotiating we finally settled on an agreement and we scheduled a home inspection. Although spending $450 on this home inspection seems like a lot of money it was for this house a great idea as the inspection turned out that the roof had substantial water damage that would have needed to be addressed ASAP and not something we could budget for so we back out of the deal and continued our search.

It was funny when we were looking it tended to be that it was always 2 on 2, either my sister and I liked the house and my mom, and brother-in-law didn’t or some combination. At one point when were looking we came across this really beautiful home with original hardwood floors, fantastic open concept big living room and dining room with an amazing entry way. My mom and I loved it, I bring this one up because when we first started listing our needs I joked with our Realtor and said I was picking on “bathrooms” I just needed 2 toilets in the house. This one delivered my sister called up from the basement saying “be careful what you wish for” so I walk down to the basement there in a little area in the laundry room was a toilet just hanging out…ready and waiting to be used. That wasn’t the reason we didn’t get it, the basement just didn’t work.

At this point we had been searching for about 3 months, so here is my first tip for new home buyers, don’t expect the search to be quick, it’s going to take longer than you expect and you will look at so many more homes than you ever wanted to. Our Realtor was awesome, so patient with us and ensured that we only saw homes that met with our needs. We were not picky by any means, as long as it was on a pretty good bus route, had a fenced in yard, had 3 bedrooms and 1.5+ bathrooms we were set, these were our needs. Our wish list was a dishwasher, a garage, a shed, and a finished basement. When our Realtor was going on holiday he set it up so the database auto pushed any new listings that met our criteria to my brother-in-laws email so that if something did come up when he was gone we could reach out to his brother who was also a Realtor. I’m not 100% sure when the listing came through but I’m pretty sure it was early December 2011, when the listing came in and we ended up seeing it that night with our normal Realtor’s brother. This was the first house that when all 4 of us walked in we knew it was the one (well we hoped since we had already been burned once), and decided to make an offer. Knowing that the house was just about to hit the market and knowing that it was a great house I didn’t try to low ball the seller. I also learned that the seller was motivated to sell as he had moved out of the city and was about to carry 2 mortgages, I came in at asking price which ended up being right at the top of our budget.

So my second tip, look at homes throughout your price range some on the lower end, mid range and the higher end, you never know where your home will be found. We were lucky this house was priced to sell and may have been priced to get multiple offers but since we offered a quick close (60 days) and we didn’t ask for anything to be thrown in the seller accepted it without any issues, and alas we had to pay another $450 for yet another home inspection. This inspection didn’t come out squeaky clean but unlike the last one the major things like furnace, windows, and roof were in perfect shape so we went through with the offer.

After signing my name and initialing so many papers so many times I was excited to be done with it all and pick up the keys. No one was available to come with me so on February 29, 2012 I picked up the keys to our new home…let the chaos of moving begin!! We had 30 days to move things in from the town house and I really wish we had done the move a bit differently but whats done is done and I cannot change it so my next tip, if you have the time and great organizational skills use them, do small trips each day to get mostly everything moved and put away as you do it so you are not surrounded by boxes.


The other couple of things that happen when you buy your first house that no one told me about, you have to pay a deposit when you agree to purchase the home and it can be a lot, the first house we had to put down a $1500 deposit the second one was $3000! When getting getting the property taxes set up we decided to do it ourselves and not have it rolled in to the mortgage and as such when I went to set it up on preauthorized monthly payments, I was told by the not so nice lady at city hall that I was late and that I would have to pay $8 late payment fee (WHAT?) but since I was setting it up on preauthorized payments she would forgive this, I know this sounds nice but with her attitude it wasn’t. She also informed me I owed over $500…WHAT… so this leads to my next tip, save up lots of money for unexpected expenses with buying home. Also always change your locks, we did!

What is the story behind your first home?

Poem collection 1


Last night when I was just about asleep the following words jumped into my head. Throughout today I have written a few more poems. I would love to see your poems, please leave a poem in the comment section.


Thoughts will flow,

Winds will blow.

Dreams will burn,

Earth will turn.

Moments will stop,

Guns will pop.

Lives are lost,

How high a cost.


You walk by, you laugh, eyes downcast I pass.

I cry, I hold my head high.

You point, you stare, eyes downcast I pass.

I anger, I hold my head high.

Your lips move, mouth “ugly”, eyes downcast I pass.

I laugh, I hold my head high.


Your arms are not yet here, I’m shivering from fear.

I’m cold as stone, I await you, I hope you are near.

Music plays, placates me, we will meet one day when the coast is clear.


My sunshine, my laughter, the one who sticks her tongue out.

My protector, my light, the one who takes care of me.

My cook, my likeness, the one who helps me through.

My sister, my friend, the one who taught me love.

My Crystal, My family, the one who has never let me down.


Is there such a thing as a rabbit hole?

An abyss?

In my humble opinion I believe there is.

We create the aperture, in our minds.

We never see it coming.

We go tumbling down, into darkness.

Is there such a thing as a savior?

A God?

In my humble opinion I think not.

We create the idea, in our minds.

We think we see it coming.

We lift each other up, out of the darkness.

All poems written by Penny L. Loker February 9th, 2015. Cannot be copied or used without permission. Copyright 2015

Places I would love to travel to

travel 1

As I get ready for yet another trip to lovely Toronto it makes me think of all the places I could get to if I was going to the airport. I had thought about saving this topic for another epic top 10 list but it’s cold outside so I thought writing about all the amazing places that I would drop almost anything for to go to.

First one wouldn’t be all that warm right now but visiting the great city of New York!

travel 2

I want to spend a good few weeks at New York City to see the American Museum of Natural History, tour the Bronx, Central Park, Empire State building, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, and the 9/11 Memorial. I would love to see a show on and off Broadway, to stand in times square slowly look up and around and just take it all in. I don’t want to ever be there for New Years eve, standing there for over 12 hours without going to the potty, that’s just crazy.

When my sister worked for Starwood Hotels one of the hotels we both drooled over was in Belize.

Travel 3

I would love to to sit on the beach with no phone, and a pile of books and just laze away the days. I would go to the Belize zoo, the Maya ruins of Xunantunich, but seriously laying on the beach is the thing I would to in Belize.

I have learned that I wouldn’t want to drive here but I would love to stroll around and sit at an outdoor cafe. Italy!

Travel 4

Visiting the typical tourist spots would totally be on the agenda, the Colosseum, Pompeii, would float the Blue Grotto, I would need to visit Murano Island to watch the glass blowers make beautiful works of art. would visit the Leaning tower of Pisa, a wine tour of the vineyards in Italy sounds divine, although I’m not catholic I would love to the Vatican City, I would want to eat everything, everywhere!

I know a few people that have traveled to Australia, and a friend of mine has since moved and it’s so beautiful.

Travel 5

I would really love to see the wild life of Australia, visit the sanctuaries and volunteer some hours if I could, help out. Seeing a performance at the famous Opera House is on my bucket list. Another stack of books for another beach to get lost in. I would enjoy the warmth, sunshine and people.

I have read about my friend Joe’s trips to Hong Kong for years each time I drool… I really want to go.

Travel 6

This trip would be about food, I would eat at as many places as Joe and his girlfriend have eaten at. I would visit the temples outside of Hong Kong. I’m not 100% sure where else I would visit, I know there is a Disneyland there, I’m not too keen on visiting the one here in North America and I may try the one in Hong Kong, I’d fear the looks I would get in Hong Kong so might as well go all out and have a blast!

I would love to travel across the pond and visit the UK, the weather can be questionable, but I’m Canadian.

Travel 7

I’m so fascinated by Stonehenge that I would need to visit and cross it off my bucket list. Going around London, going to the art galleries, visiting Buckingham Palace, I bet there are tours that would visit the historic buildings which would be a must. I would also want to visit the country side, take a few books and just reflect on life while soaking in the greenery.

I will add to this list maybe tack on to this post or create a new one. Where are some places you want to travel?

Homelessness dream project

facts about homelessness in Canada

A few posts ago I wrote about what I would do if I won the lottery, one of the things I didn’t mention is this. I would work to build a shelter unlike anything else ever seen.

When I was younger there was a factory that went out of business, the building sat vacant for a very long time before it was transformed in to high end condos. The condos sell for more than my house, and they are really nice, I would probably live there if I was on my own and could afford it.

Sadly there are many who simply cannot afford to put a roof over their head and it hurts me to the core. I know that Waterloo Region is better off than some communities but this area still has a lot to do. Late last year and earlier this year a lot of places that allowed homeless to stay during the cold winter months closed their doors. This left other organizations to act quickly to fill the gap.

At work the other day I overheard a few co-workers making the same comments that have been made by many people who feel that the only reason these people are homeless is because they want to be, or because they don’t want to get a job. I didn’t say anything maybe I should have because I was making me angry but I’m not one for confrontation in the work environment so i let it slide but it has bothered me that my co-workers would say such things.

Dependence on social assistance and homelessness is not what most people desire, I’m not crazy I know that there are the abusers of the system but we cannot let the actions of a few lead us to inaction for those who are truly vulnerable. Many people will bring up the old news stories about those few that were caught as frauds and say that it’s because of those few they cannot trust and therefore will not help those in need. I cannot say I blame them but for me I have to see each person in need as that, if I turn out to be proven wrong of course I would be angry and want to seek retribution against those who were false but I would not use those few as an excuse no to help someone in need.

This brings me to what I would love to do if I did win a lot of money. I would buy a big building (or have one built) It wouldn’t be more than 5 stories high but ideally it would take up a lot of room. The building would hold traditional apartments, subsidized housing for individuals and families, it would act as transitional housing for those seeking to turn their lives around, and it would have emergency beds for the homeless every night. I know that not all those who are homeless seek to change their situation but we would be there for them if they ever changed their mind. My dream is that in this building it would also have showers, lockers, gym, and a cafe where we could train at risk youth the skills they need to obtain meaningful employment. I would have doctors, dentists, and nurses come in daily if I could to help treat the homeless, I would want social workers and counselors available to help those who have mental health issues. I know that I would probably have concerns about substance abuse on site or those suffering from withdraw which means I would also want a secure area where they could safely stay and not be a danger to themselves or to others. My goal would be to have someone who is homeless seek help, have an address for their assistance cheques to go to and work their way through programs to help them become who they want to be. If they got their own apartment and a great job because of the services provided I would be the happiest person on earth.

I try very hard not to pass judgement on people, I have had labels placed on me by those who took one look at me and wrote me off, I hear what others’ say about those in need, and I choose not to be that person, I believe everyone deserves a chance to be happy. to have access to proper housing, proper food in order for them to reach their potential and to be free of judgement and ridicule. I know I’m not the only one, I confided this dream to my friend Holly who said that she had a similar dream, I hope that one day her and I can work together to make this dream a reality.

I don’t have much money, I get by, I have a roof over my head and food in my fridge, I also have my family under this roof and I do what I can when the opportunity arises. I wish I had more money, more time to devote to helping others’ but I hope that I do enough and I can’t wait to someday build my dream house, not for me but for those who truly need it.